Weekly Roundup – 6th August

The Harriers have ran right through in to August with some great racing this week. Kicking off the month on the 1st was the annual inter-club canal relay. This is an annual competition between the Worksop Harriers and Retford Athletic Club which sees each team field five pairs who race over nine stages along the Chesterfield, to and from the town’s, covering just over 20 miles of racing. This year Worksop were hosting, so the race would start and finish at the Manton Athletic Club with the turn-around point being at the town-lock in Retford. The race is now in its 20th year and with the score standing at 10-9 Worksop were keen to make it all evens after 20 years of competition. Charlotte Jones and Amy Ogden started off the relay at 6:00 pm sharp for the harriers, covering one of the longest stages to Scofton in just over 23 minutes. By the end of stage 4 Worksop had taken a healthy lead of nearly 2 minutes. However, with Retford yet to field some of their fastest runner’s, there was still a long way to go, and with them finally making an appearance on stage 5 (the longest stage for the turn-around), Steve Carr paired with Danny Scott (with Steve Hazlehurst in reserve) to run a very tactical race to ensure they could leave the hand-over for the return back to Worksop in best standing possible. Despite excellent run from the trio, by the end of stage 6, Retford were firmly in the lead with a time-gap of 4:58, leaving a lot of chasing to be done in the final three stages if Worksop were to pull this one back.

Despite having no visible Retford runners to chase, and no doubt feeling the pressure of such a long-wait for their hand-over, Worksop pairing Bryan Cherry and Joel Kerrigan went all-in for their stage, putting an impressive run to drop the deficit back down to 2:43 to hand over to Tim Baggs and Craig Wolstenholme to show the race was far from over. Running from Ranby to Scofton for the penultimate leg, there was plenty of tension on the Scofton Bridge to see who would appear one, and unfortunately for Worksop it was the Red, white and Blue of Retford to show first for the final leg back to Worksop. However, the Retford pairing would only be gone 50 seconds before they would hear the cheers for Tim and Craig as they ran another stellar leg to set-up a tense finale and a real battle for the win between the Retford pair of Bevan and Nick against Senior Team Captain Thomas Shaw and Paul Marriott. With just 3 miles of the 20 miles remaining, both teams knew the win was both possible but far from certain and with approximately half a mile to go, the Worksop duo drew level to their Retford counterparts and set up an 800 m burn-up as both pairs did what they could bring it home for their teams. Luckily it was the Worksop pair who had the speed in their legs as they left the canal to sprint down Retford Road to enjoy the spoils and cheers of the other relay teams and support crew to welcome them home, finishing in 2:17:26, and just 15 seconds separating the teams after over 20 miles of racing. Both Worksop and Retford teams had a brilliant night, with everyone putting in superb performances, as well as enjoying both the racing experience and the friendly post-race chat and buffet in the club house. , and with the scores standing at 10-10 after 20 editions, we hope Retford are looking forward to it next year as we are with, when it will be Retford’s turn to host the event!

Away from the canale relay we also had a small contingent taking part in the Butcher’s Dog Leg Race at nearby Maltby. Maltby have a habit of putting on some excellent cheap and cheerful local mid-week races and this one was no different on a lovely summers evening. Just over 4 miles around Braithwell, Jim Steveley was the first Harrier home in 32:13, followed closely by Mark Manley (33:16) and Julie and Paddy Lavin running together in 33:22. John Shephard (37:00), Lee-Anne Manley (37:11) and Gillian Shephard (39:16) completed the Harriers Representation.

Moving in to the weekend, Harriers were visible at quite parkruns across the country and Tom & Emma Shaw visited Richmond Park, the Charters and Bulmer families travelled all the way to Cornwall only to bump in to each other at the Eden Project parkrun, as well runners at Frickley Country and Clifton. Meanwhile, Camilla and Barry Mercier showed us all how its done, not by getting a PB, but running the hilliest parkun in the whole of the UK at Whinlatter Forest in the lake district, one of the few net-uphill parkruns around!

Come Sunday we had a celebration of some fantastic achievement as Veteran Harrier Tracey West represented England against Wales in the Barry Island 10k Masters. Tracey raced hard on a tough but enjoyable course, finishing in a superb 40:58 as 5th England runner and 3rd place V50. Superb work Tracey.

Meanwhile, still down in London, whilst most the focus was on the Ride-London 100 (with a few of harriers swapping their running legs for the bike – Excellent work by both Sarah Cherry and the Manley’s), Thomas Shaw took part in the Regent’s Park 10k. A three-lap twisty course, Tom ran in a season best of 35:50 on a warm day and was pleased to make it on to the podium, narrowly missing out on the win in 2nd place.

Finally, back to home we had several Worksop Harriers take part in the Bassetlaw Triathlon, as Stuart McCluskie, Charlotte Jones and Tom McLaren all completed their first Triathlon. Extra Kudos and congratulations goes to Tom who for some reason decided the best way to spend his day before his wedding was a swim-bike-run, so all the Worksop Harriers would like to wish both him and his new wife Elizabeth all the best for a long and happy future together!